The following characteristics are what experts believe define hoarders. Although there are hoarding situations that defy each of these characteristics, and they are also common.
Hoarders are typically:
• Female; unmarried
• Living alone; socially isolated
• Related to other hoarders
• Suffering from anxiety, depression and/or personality disorder
• Lacking insight into the problem or in denial
• More entrenched in hoarding as they age
HOW COMMON IS HOARDING?
It is estimated that slightly less than 1% of the population hoards. (Note: One percent of the U.S. population represents approximately three million people.)
However, hoarding is a very private disease and in all likelihood, is under reported. Researchers believe that fewer than 5% of hoarders ever come to the attention of authorities.